Originally called “His Majesty’s Antigua Naval Yard”, Nelson’s Dockyard today is an extraordinary living remnant of colonial Caribbean naval history, and the only Georgian Period shipyard still in existence in the world.
Building this shipyard started in 1725 to create a home for Britain’s Caribbean Naval Fleet. The Naval Fleet was needed at that time to guard the valuable colonial sugar islands to ensure the supply to England of sugar as the 1700’s was the heyday of Piracy.
Now a National Park, Nelson’s Dockyard offers guided tours. However, one is also free to wander around the colonial buildings made of locally found coral rock along with the bricks and stones used as ballast for the many ships that sailed into the Naval Yard. Included in the buildings still standing today are the Officer’s Quarters, sail loft, Naval Officer’s House, (now housing the Dockyard Museum), along with the Parade Ground, careening wheel, and other buildings and areas important to the maintenance and repair of the Royal Fleet in the 1700’s, along with the daily regime of naval life.
Today, Nelson’s Dockyard is home to an international fleet of sailing yachts, many of which are available for yacht charter, with yacht support services today housed in the same Naval Yard buildings of yore. Yachts can dock today in Nelson’s Dockyard, stern to, as was done so many centuries ago.
English Harbor today is the yacht harbor of Antigua and the port of call for any charter yacht visiting Antigua. Many yacht charters begin or end a charter in Antigua in English Harbor or nearby Falmouth Harbor, as the southern end of Antigua with the natural harbors of English and Falmouth Harbor, are once again a center of seafaring life on Antigua.
Visit the Northrop-Johnson Yacht Charters Website for more information!